“Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.”
It seems as if some people constantly struggle with staying right with the LORD. These people seem to take up the time of many good people who try to keep them from perpetually backsliding, and yet there seems to be no progress. What is it that causes Christians to perpetually backslide?
The verse above gives the answer as to why Christians perpetually backslide. The reason is also the cause as to why you could backslide. What I find is that many are on the pathway to backsliding, and don’t realize how close they are to falling away from the LORD. The actions of the people of Jerusalem show that four things cause a person to perpetually backslide.
First, the reason a person backslides is because truth is not important to them. The verse above says, “…they hold fast deceit…” Deceit is the opposite of truth. For a person to “hold fast deceit” means they are not willing to hold onto truth. One of my biggest frustrations is how truth doesn’t matter to so many Christians. I find that many Christians will tell a lie and it doesn’t even bother them. Many Christians are willing to let a preacher they admire stray from God’s Word and never take a stand against him. When truth is no longer the platform you embrace, backsliding will become the footing by which you slip. If you want to keep from backsliding, truth is going to have to become important to you; otherwise, you will find yourself perpetually backsliding from the LORD.
Second, the reason a person backslides is because they refuse to recognize when they are wrong. The verse above continues by saying, “…they refuse to return.” There comes a point when you must recognize your wrong. Many times our pride keeps us from admitting our wrong, but allowing pride to keep you from doing right will only lead you down the road to backsliding. The best way to keep backsliding from becoming your mantra is to swallow your pride and admit when you are wrong.
Third, the reason a person backslides is because they don’t listen to preaching. Verse 6 says, “I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright…” Let me ask you, are you present in body only when you hear someone preach. I’m afraid many Christians are physically present during the preaching, but their mind, heart and spirit are somewhere else. My friend, when it’s preaching time, you are going to have to lay aside all thoughts and concerns and give your whole attention to what the LORD wants to say to you through the preaching. Sometimes, what we are thinking about is not bad, but it is taking your attention away from preaching. If you don’t want backsliding to become your plight, you better listen to the preaching of God’s Word.
Fourth, the reason a person backslides is because they never respond to preaching. Verse 6 continues by saying, “…no man repented him of his wickedness…” Don’t make the altar call a ritual, but make it a sincere action to repent of what you need to change. The purpose of preaching is for people to respond and change what they are doing wrong. Don’t let pride keep you from walking an aisle to get right, and don’t let ritual keep you from repenting of what you have done wrong. Backsliding can be averted if you make sure these four things are not present in your life.